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What Is Freelance Writing: A List of Basic Rules

Locked away in a forlorn attic, a lone writer scribbles away furiously as they sip red wine. Periodically, they glance out the window to gaze pensively at the night sky. Although this may be a common perception of freelance writers, it is far from the truth. Most writers work in a home office space with a laptop on their lap. Instead of pensive glances and red wine, they have deadlines and coffee pots. To make it in this field, prospective writers should understand some of the rules of writing.

It Isn't All Novels and Poetry

When most people think of a writer, they think of poems and novels. Most projects in this industry do not involve creative writing. Instead, writers create website content, marketing copy, technical manuals or how-to guides. There are hundreds of different writing assignments, but only a fraction of them are for creative writing.

Writing Is a Business

Unless the writer can afford an accountant and a business manager, they will have to run the business side of their work. This means that the writer must be able to create invoices, read through contracts and chase clients for payments. If the writer plans on getting paid, they must be able to operate the business side of their work.

Deadlines Are Not Suggestions

Even successful novelists must submit their book before the deadline. For a writer to make a living, they have to keep their clients. If work is consistently sent weeks or months late, the client will not return to them for the next project. Writers must know how to manage their time, set a work schedule and finish projects before the deadline.

Pitching Project Ideas

Anyone in the freelance industry needs to learn how to pitch a project idea. New writers will normally use bidding sites to find clients. With each bid, they must submit a sample and a recent proposal. For other websites, magazines or book agents, the writer may also need to submit a query letter. Getting jobs is all about the pitch. If writers are unwilling to send out 2 to 20 pitches each week, they will not get new projects.

Freelance Writing Is the Survival of the Fittest

Making it as a writer is not for the weak-minded. There will be busy and slow time periods each year. During the slow times, the writer may be barely unable to cover their bills. To stay afloat, writers must save money from the busier time periods. Additionally, writers must be able to deal with rejection. As a writer, they will get rejected frequently. Each rejection is just a sign to try again and work harder on the next proposal.

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Professional Aspects Of Freelance Writing Career